Bluebottles and rescues part of summer at the beach
AS THE sun sets on the summer holidays, it's a chance for lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers to take a breath.
Just under 100,000 people have visited the region's five patrolled beaches since the red and yellow flags went up at the start of December, making it a busy period for those entrusted with keeping beachgoers safe.
From putting their own lives on the line as they pluck swimmers from the surf, to treating bluebottle stings and administering first aid, surf lifesavers and lifeguards have watched over Nielson, Kellys, Oaks, Moore Park and Elliott Heads beaches with vigilance.
In total, there have been 14 rescues since the start of December, including four people that were lucky to survive after getting into trouble along on unpatrolled section of Kellys Beach lsat Monday evening.
Surf Life Saving Queensland regional operations manager Craig Holden said a combination of calm and hot conditions had made for ideal beach conditions these holidays and it's been reflected in the number of swimmers.
"It's one of the best summers we've had,” he said.
"Those two weeks - between Christmas and New Year and then the week after New Year - were really busy.
"Given how busy it was it was fairly incident free.”
Mr Holden said while not prevalent for an extended period, the main issue had been a few days where bluebottle numbers were up and in the past seven weeks just over 500 people in total had been treated by lifesavers for bluebottle stings at the five patrolled beaches.
With the Australia Day long weekend just around the corner and our weather showing no signs of cooling down just yet, Mr Holden urged beachgoers to continue to swim between the flags when visiting the beach.
"It's just a reminder that with the Australian Day weekend, people like to have a beer and enjoy themselves, and that's fine, but if you are going to drink alcohol then stay out of the water,” he said.
"We do see the weather pattern change a bit around the end of January and into February and even though the holidays are over people do need to remain alert.
"We'll see high tides at the end of the month and there'll be lots of water movement.
"Swim between flags at a patrolled beach and you can't go wrong.”